shake it off

Posted: June 25, 2013 in Uncategorized
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is what i keep telling myself. life is too short to be ‘busy’ but unproductive. there are enough things that i actually can, need to, and will do that i don’t need the pressure of feeling like i’m not doing all these other shoulds.

in any case, life is getting ready to be really busy again. and i don’t know if this is just my thing, but i’m feeling underprepared for what i have going on.

i know i’m capable of teaching what i need to teach well, and of giving the interns a real idea of what it will take to be present and real and true this summer… but i also know that there are SO many things left undone.

and there are conversations that need to be had. this week has been full of thunderstorms. literal thunderstorms every afternoon. it’s been my favourite part of every day so far. the clouds, the wind, the rain. god, i love it. it makes me feel alive, and like a cleansing is happening.

i’m really excited for this summer. i have such good people around me, and i work with some of the most funnest (ahem) folks that there are. but there’s still… thunder in the air, maybe.

life is trotting along, as it does. four years here are almost completed. i’m dragging my feet on the visa- not intentionally- i just haven’t scanned my passport yet. shoot, i really should do that tomorrow. but i’m feeling the drag, the tension, the thunder in the air. i love what i’m doing, i’ve grown tremendously these past four years, i have a home. and yet, some part of me longs for scotland, for what is familiar and well-known and easily shrugged into. something that there’s no context for here.

friends get married- it happens when you all reach a certain point in life, babies too- and it prompts lots of statements like “when i get married…” which also necessarily prompts some introspection. when i get married. who said there would be a when?

thunder in the air.

here are some pictures of rain, and clouds. two from St Louis, one from the porch of the parsonage.
here are all my disjointed thoughts. sorry it’s been so long.

clouds are like explosions of joy in the sky

clouds are like explosions of joy in the sky

storm ahead

storm ahead

clear skies behind

clear skies behind



Posted: April 18, 2013 in life
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it seems like this is becoming a theme in my life:

discernment in the darkness. pulling out the things that are not helpful, and working to bring them into the light. seeing into the spiritual.

maybe owls are my spirit animal.

it’s been really interesting around here the last little while. i’m still processing a lot of it, so i’m sure more will come out in time.

just checkin’ in. :)


Posted: April 14, 2013 in life
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so, i got this app on my phone. it lets you put words on pictures. i thought i’d share a few that i made. it’s kinda fun. and reminded me of when mum had me do a bunch of these for posters for camp.




both of which are from when we were on spring break.

anyway. maybe i’ll actually get around to doing some work on gathering the pictures I’ve been taking every day, and put up some links to those. and maybe even get around to an update about life. don’t get too excited, i make no promises. :)

if you’re like me, or my kids, you’ll appreciate this. we persuaded our workgroup, and ourselves, to get ridiculous in order to put a smile on the faces of our kiddos. dance, dance, dance.

Video  —  Posted: March 24, 2013 in Uncategorized
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things that are interesting:

this pottery studio in Philadelphia : object&totem

this cartoon: an invisible crown


i’m listening to camera obscura radio on spotify, it has the perfect blend of light hearted pop-yness, and quieter indie tracks. also it’s full of scottish artists. so that’s really nice. and probably why britani got a bunch of stories this morning where everyone was an old scottish man.

its almost the end of the first week of program. we have four, maybe five weeks until we go on spring break… and we have about $7000 to raise in that time. (well, we can keep raising it after the trip. it just all has to come in…)

we’re planning an epic trip, one that hopefully involves kraken, giant pandas and observatories…

today though, i have to be ready for my girls. it’s cell group time. we’re going to talk about family. what is it, what does it mean, what does it look like, and how do we deal with it not being what we want…

i’m not sure how it’s going to pan out. i hope i can guide our conversation in healthy and helpful avenues. we’ll see what happens.

in other news, kids are so desperate to earn stars (toward spring break) that they’re cleaning our building. which is perfect, because we have to get out of it pretty soon. and there’s a lot of stuff lying around everywhere. i can’t wait until the renovations are done. proposed dates are starting in march, finishing in october.

and my visa expires in september. whew.

life just keeps rolling.

it’s very clear

Posted: February 24, 2013 in life
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well, friends.

this last week i had the luxury of some time off. a whole week.

so i went to the poconos. for a couple of days, which was beautiful. it had snowed, i got to take walks, play clue and life with tony and gretchen, go see a movie in a ‘dine-in’ (bah! all you could order was ..withfries and they gave you a number that they called out in the theatre. it was nothing if not an experience.) theatre. at least the film was funny. (identity thief. does what it says on the tin.)

the house i was staying at belongs to a donor, and they opened it up for us. so there were a bunch of different urban folk throughout the week. it was really nice. quiet, peaceful, i read a lot, knit, made a shirt for a friend and made lots of delicious food. mostly the same things over and over- quinoa, roasted brussels and sweet potato, sauteed spinach and beet greens. or french toast and berries and yoghurt. that was pretty much all i ate and it was delicious.

on the way home, i decided to explore a little, so i took a detour, just followed the road and saw where it took me… which was to an antiques mall. where i spent two hours, and bought a jar of buttons, a mug with a bear on it, and an old jam jar. it was a better haul that it might sound. i was pretty pleased.

i ended up at a creek, called mcmichaels creek, for a while, sitting and looking and thinking. remembering that peace, and quiet and solitude can be found everywhere and that i need to partake of those things once in a while.

i got back to the area in time for a yoga class, probably a pretty much perfect end to a great getaway.

now, i get to head back to work, refreshed, at least a litle. ready, i think, to tackle the challenges of the rest of the year.

and i’m watching when harry met sally. it’s been too long.

like eating glass

Posted: January 30, 2013 in life
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i’m sitting in the treehouse, listening to Bloc Party (who i love, but it took a while. i begrudged their popularity at school, so it wasn’t til later that i actually gave them a chance. story of my life.) and trying to figure out where to take cell groups/bible buddies for my girls this year. they’re bored, and they don’t want to talk about bible stories. they want to talk about life. and i’m honoured that they want to talk about life with me, so i’m trying to do it well.

i’m revisiting all my old school texts to figure out how to create the right atmosphere. bringing some bits of the work we did in Maryhill in, figuring out what the boundaries need to be, and how not to be a pushover.

and the topics are so varied- everything from family, fake friends and food, to social media and (because no-one wants to say it, but it’s the sub text of every conversation) sex. it’s a confusing time to be 12, 13 and 14, and my girls already know so much, and are so self-conscious, but exude this ‘i am the master of this universe, nothing you say can touch me’ stand-offishness that being given this chance… phew.

i need to remember to be intentional and deliberate with them, and give them time and space. and when they ask to talk, to take the time to talk to them.

that’s a lot.

my house is shifting again too, matt moves out next month, back to north carolina, so it’ll be rob, jordan and i again. i’m full of mixed feeings about that, but i’m mostly excited. we have a friend who might move in in june, and another friend who’s looking to be in the area starting august.

all of that puts more pressure on my thoughts about visas and where i want to be. long-long term, i have no idea. for this time? here. i’m settling, and i’m learning about how to do this work well, and i want to continue. i choose to stay here. so i’m working on that. it’s hard to choose, because it still might not be the way things work out. my visa application might be declined. but whatever happens, at least i chose.

anyway. back to work.

empty your hands

Posted: January 13, 2013 in life
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this year is going to be interesting. all of the things that i’m challenging myself to do are pretty simple. don’t really require too much more of me than what i regularly do. i don’t eat that much meat (my family might disagree, but they caught me at the end of the year, and meat is expensive, so if someone else is paying for dinner.. heck yes, i’ll have ribs. ;) but normally?) and so apart from figuring out how to do that in community…

a short aside. because i live with boys (and very particular boys. midwest.), i’m ready to have a lot of extra grace for myself and them in regards to this whole no meat for a year deal. like this morning, we had a potato and sausage hash for breakfast. so i ate around the sausage and gave it away at the end. i’m not ready to damage my community for the sake of something that i’m personally challenging myself to do. they already have to make things gluten-free for me.

so, yes. mindfulness. that’s the name of the game here. i’m remembering to get out my phone (for now. i will get my camera fixed. i promise.) every day and take a shot of something that interests me. something that is intriguing, or whimsical, or just life. so we run the gamut from my kids feet, to the salad i ate after i cleaned my office, to the ingredients list on the goldfish i gave my kids for snack.

i’m also remembering the consumerism will consume me if i let it. i do not need new clothes, or nail polish, or glasses shaped cookie cutters (but Kristin decided that actually i did and so she bought them for me. mostly because i let her borrow clancy a lot.) what i need, rather, is people. companionship, conversation, silliness and lots of tea. i’m still just a little bit sick, and although this week was really good, it was also exhausting. but there were a lot of people in it. i got to see friends old and new friday night and saturday. today i might be peopled out, but it’s a good feeling. i also got to listen to a lot of the weepies. this is an excellent thing.

so, here’s the link to the images from this project.

questions, comments, thoughts?


Posted: January 1, 2013 in life

i plan to double post this. here and over at our new goals blog . because this is really about that.

this year, 2013, is going to be the year that i do some shit. namely these three things:

-take a picture a day

-buy no new clothes

-eat no meat

amongst other things. but those three i needed to state upfront. i plan to post a weekly round up of pictures (should probably reactivate that flickr account) and as to the others? if there are stories, i shall endeavor to tell them.

i think that’s enough for now. i’m sure i’ll be back shortly.

anais nin

Posted: December 15, 2012 in life, love
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these are about to go in the post. Christmas gifts for some friends. and though i hate spoiling surprises, i feel like it’s something that i really want to share right now.


so there you have it.